Maintaining a Vintage BMW

Image: BMW Group

You’ve probably heard about the incredible story of the M1 that was found sitting in a garage in Italy for 34 years. But in case you need a refresher, it’s the 1981 production model that had only clocked 4,600 miles before being put in storage by its owner. Then last year, the vintage car specialists at Mint Classics discovered the automobile in its poor state. Fortunately it wasn’t too late, so now it’s being returned to its former glory.

If you’re an owner of a vintage BMW, you basically have a treasure in your possession, which is why the aforementioned story created a lot of buzz within the classic car community. But if you manage to get one that’s road-ready, be sure to take into account the special considerations in maintaining a vintage BMW.

Check the type of oil needed for oil change

Image: HK Eurocar

BMW have their own brand of oil which is used in all of their cars. Realistically speaking, however, it’s not always easy to procure, especially if you live outside Europe.

There are select oil types from quality brands like Mobil and Castrol, which are approved by BMW, but remember to check first with the previous owner or the automakers themselves to find out what the recommended type is for your car.

Invest in special cleaning and waxing materials

An article on eBay about maintaining a vintage BMW emphasized that special materials are needed for washing and waxing old BMW models. The paintwork is usually more sensitive, thus, gentle but effective materials should only be used.

It was stated that the cleaning shampoo should be pH balanced. Use only 100% cotton cloth or chamois cloth for wiping and soft scrubbing. If there is hard to remove dirt, use detailing clay to pull the residue off the paint’s surface.

Seasonal maintenance

Image: Mom 4 Real

Just like any other vehicle, a BMW should also be prepped for seasonal changes and this is all the more crucial with vintage models. Pro Car Mechanics shared some tips on preparing a BMWs for different seasons. They include storing items like kitty litter and de-icing liquid in the trunk during winter. While in the summer, regular inspections of the antifreeze is advised to make sure the coolant doesn’t over heat.

These are just some of the steps you could take to keep your vintage BMW in excellent condition. But of course, they may also be applied to newer models, too.

Why vintage cars are worth maintaining

Vintage cars are very much comparable to priceless antiques to a certain extent. In general, they have a certain uniqueness, so much so that our favorite Hollywood superstars and big name designers are often photographed in classic models that are extremely hard to buy. Jay Leno, Ralph Lauren and Patrick Dempsey are just some of the notable vintage car collectors, and they all have a penchant for BMWs.

Leno even featured his 1976 BMW 2002 in his web series Jay Leno’s Garage which Auto Blog specified as a modified unit with its larger engine that had been put in the car to double its horsepower.

Naturally, regular citizens also have the same enthusiasm and most show their passion for vintage cars via restoration-reselling projects. It doesn’t stop there, as there are also vintage car lovers who get their fix through video games, because not everyone can afford the car of their dreams. For instance, Grand Theft Auto V which is one of the best-selling console titles this year has the likes of Infernus and Turismo, while the 5 Reel Drive slot game on the popular platform Slingo includes cars from the 1950’s in its gameplay. Whether real or digital, a vintage car can certainly leave its mark on car lovers, and the fascination surrounding the vintage market rumbles on. It is even more apparent with vintage BMWs because, at the end of the day, who wouldn’t want a classic model from one of the best luxury car manufacturers in the world?

Vintage BMWs such as the M1 may not have the same coolness as today’s supercars, but they’re in a league of their own. Suffice it to say, that’s more than enough reason for car enthusiasts to fall in love with these timeless vehicles.

For more tips and news about BMWs, browse through our other topics or visit the E39Source YouTube channel.

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